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Tuesday, 15 September 2015 22:45

Robots take root on smaller dairy farms

GRANITEVILLE, Vt. - Robots have taken up residence at some small- and medium-sized dairy farms across the country, providing reliable and more efficient labor and helping the businesses remain viable. Plus, farmers say, the milking technology makes for happier, more productive cows.

Dairy operations here and abroad have used robotic milkers for more than a decade. But with more manufacturers and dealerships emerging the U.S., the number of smaller farms in Iowa with the technology has doubled over the last two years, from roughly 20 to more than 40, and family farms in the Northeast also are plugging in.

Published in Tekk

BROOKFIELD, Vt. A tiny Vermont town's famous wooden floating bridge believed to be the only one of its kind in the country has been rebuilt and was reopened Saturday with fanfare, including a parade with a bagpiper, high school marching band, oxen team, horses, and antique cars crossing the new span Saturday. Just not all at once.

The Brookfield bridge on Route 65 a state highway that is unpaved through the village has been closed for seven years after its floatation system started to fail, causing it to be partially submerged.

Published in Style

MONTPELIER, Vt. The historic barrage of snow and cold that struck New England this winter has pushed back the gardening season and left behind damaged bushes, trees and greenhouses and gardeners clamoring to get their hands in the dirt.

The growing season is one to two weeks behind schedule after a winter that lacked the usual mid-season thaw and kept the snow piling up.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 22:56

Vermont documents 70s ideological shift

BURLINGTON, Vt. Aside from peace signs and food cooperatives, the 1970s influx of longhaired youth to Vermont brought experimental communes to the hillsides and social activism, as well as drug use and fears of a hippie invasion.

Now the Vermont Historical Society is collecting stories and artifacts in a two-year study to document the lasting influence the decade has had on the state. It's holding forums around the state for people to tell their stories, good and bad, about that era in Vermont.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 17:00

Farms monitor storage by cellphone

CRAFTSBURY, Vt. Temperature fluctuations can shorten the growing season for farmers, and the worry doesn't stop when crops are stored inside for winter sales, as a drop or spikes can ruin what's meant for market.

For years, growers would have to walk into coolers or other storage spots to check the temperature and humidity. Now, some small-scale vegetable producers in Vermont who can't afford high-tech refrigeration are gaining access to remote monitoring systems that keep cold storage in check, provide updates by cellphone and ease their worries.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 00:00

Food hubs link consumers with locally farmed food

BURLINGTON, Vt. Move over farmers' markets. More than 300 food hubs around the country are also providing small farms another outlet to sell locally raised food to consumers.

There's no one model for a food hub it depends on the market, the location and what it is grown in that area. Some collect food from farms and dole it out to customers in weekly deliveries. Other hubs help consumers, restaurants, colleges and institutions to source food online. But producers, consumers and experts all say food hubs have an important thing in common: it's an efficient way to get locally raised food to those clamoring for it.

Published in Biz

STOWE, Vt. In the weeks since NBC aired a revival of 'The Sound of Music,' the real von Trapp and the vacation lodge it runs in Vermont are in high demand.

And yes, the family was watching as Carrie Underwood, in a widely watched and panned performance, took over the role of Maria von Trapp, made famous on Broadway by Mary Martin and on film by Julie Andrews.

Published in Adventure

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